Notes on the data: Income support

People receiving an unemployment benefit for less than 6 months and 6 months or more, June 2022


Policy context: Long-term jobless people are much more likely than employed people or short-term unemployed people to have low education and skill levels, a chronic illness or disability, to live in a region of high unemployment, and to have an unstable employment history [1]. Increasing casualisation of the work force and decreasing numbers of full-time jobs for low skilled workers have contributed to the difficulties of many who have been unemployed for longer than 6 months (180 days or more).

Long-term unemployment can have negative effects on health and wellbeing, especially on the emotional and mental health of those who are unemployed and their families [2,3].


  1. Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS). Measuring long term unemployment in Australia. (ACOSS Information Paper 379). Strawberry Hills, NSW: ACOSS; 2005
  2. Dollard MF, Winefield AH. Mental health: overemployment, underemployment, unemployment and healthy jobs. Aust e-J Adv Mental Hlth. 2002;1(3).
  3. Gray M, Taylor M, Edwards B. Unemployment and the wellbeing of children aged 5-10 years. Aust. J Labour Econ. 2011;14(2):153-72.

Notes: People receiving an ‘unemployment benefit' - which includes JobSeeker payment and Youth Allowance (other)1 paid by Centrelink - for less than 180 days or 180 days or more (approximately 6 months) are shown as proportion of the eligible population (of persons aged 16 to 64 years).

Data cells with less than 5 counts were suppressed (confidentialised).

1 Youth Allowance (other) is largely comprised of unemployed people aged 16 to 21 looking for full-time work or undertaking approved activities, such as part-time study or training. It excludes Youth Allowance customers who are full-time students or undertaking an apprenticeship/ traineeship.


Geography: Data available by Population Health Area, Local Government Area, Primary Health Network, Quintile of socioeconomic disadvantage of area and Quintiles within PHNs, and Remoteness Area


Numerator: People in receipt of a Newstart Allowance or Youth Allowance (other) from Centrelink for less than 180 days and 180 days or more (approximately 6 months)


Denominator: People aged 16 to 64 years at 30 June 2021 (population data at June 2022 not available at time of publication)


Detail of analysis: Per cent


Source: Compiled by PHIDU based on data supplied by the Department of Social Services, June 2022; and Australian Bureau of Statistics Estimated Resident Population, 30 June 2021.


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